Exclusion guidance cancelled by Nick Gibb still not replaced after 10 months

Guidance on pupil exclusions that was withdrawn eight months ago has yet to be updated by the Department for Education.

In February, schools minister Nick Gibb said he wanted to adapt the guide “to address some issues with process”. This was less than a month after updated rules came into force.

Originally, updated guidance was issued in December to come into force from January 5, but on February 2 the government pulled the document with a note added to its webpage saying: “…Nick Gibb has removed the current guidance to address some issues with process and we will be issuing updated guidance in due course.”

It told school leaders to continue to use the previous guidelines, and reviewing bodies, such as governors, should also refer to the previous document for any reviews of decisions made between January and February.

The rules, last updated in September 2012, apply to local-authority maintained schools, academies and free schools and pupil referral units.

Among the changes is the removal of a requirement that there should have been serious or persistent breaches of the school’s behaviour policy.

When contacted by Schools Week last week, the DfE said it would be updating the guidance “in due course” but had no set date for publication.

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